Carnivore census

I have been out censusing carnivores for a few days in the area around Forsmark. I followed the tracks of a family group of lynx, a mother with two kittens for a couple of days. I also tracked marten and mink. There is a lot of roe deer in the area and I also came across tracks from wild boar.

The picture shows a track from a lynx north of Forsmark.

Saving Ladakh’s culture

Two days ago in Leh I met a senior Japanese culture teacher and photographer. He told me of a Swedish woman called Helena Norberg. He said that she came to Ladakh in the 1970s and managed to save much of Ladakh’s culture from the then newly introduced consumerism, something that he considers has destroyed most of the world’s cultures.

The more I read up on Helena Norberg the more I am in awe. She has studied cultures all over the world and has seen the effects of consumerism.

I would like to share a number of citations from her but I will contend with only one:

“When I first arrived in Leh, the capital of 5,000 inhabitants, cows were the most likely cause of congestion and the air was crystal clear. Within five minutes’ walk in any direction from the town centre were barley fields, dotted with large farmhouses. For the next twenty years I watched Leh turn into an urban sprawl. The streets became choked with traffic, and the air tasted of diesel fumes. ‘Housing colonies’ of soulless, cement boxes spread into the dusty desert. The once pristine streams became polluted, the water undrinkable. For the first time, there were homeless people. The increased economic pressures led to unemployment and competition. Within a few years, friction between different communities appeared. All of these things had not existed for the previous 500 years.”

So not only does consumerism destroy ecosystems, the climate and our potential to live on this planet, it also ravages our past and consumes ancient cultures.

Helena Norberg has founded the International Society for Ecology and Culture (ISEC) and the Women’s Alliance of Ladakh. What an amazing story.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helena_Norberg-Hodge

Snow leopard book

I have just signed a deal with a publisher to author a book on the endangered snow leopard together with the Swedish author and photographer Jan Fleischmann.

We hope to make it a very exciting book with personal stories intertwined with hard facts and an update on the most recent research, as well as good pictures of the animals and interviews with people that are involved with snow leopards in various ways.

The book will first be published in Swedish and we are then looking to make it available in English and maybe German.

You will read more on our work with this book on this page as it progresses.

Please note that the picture is for illustration and may not be the actual front page of the book.

Give your friends challenges

I came to think of something epic the other day: It is not what you tell people or inform people of, it is the challenges that you can give them that will end up making a difference.

1) If you tell a person how to change the world then this person will listen;
2) if you ask a person ‘can we change the world?’ then this person will think; but
3) if you challenge a person to a goal, for instance ‘how can we solve world hunger?’, then this person might just take up the challenge and come up with a plan.

I would like to be challenged to these questions by others myself because it would make me think actively and come up with solutions.

 

Please tell me what you think.

My year 2011

I have made an attempt to conclude my year.

I have held seven talks in Värmland about carnivore conservation. I hope next year to bridge out into a larger area of Sweden.

I have spent four months working with black-footed cats in South Africa and written two articles about my expedition. Also Värmlands folkblad interviewed me about my trip before I took off there. In South Africa I saw six species of wild cat in the wild, actually all but the serval. I also had the unique opportunity to see black-footed cat kittens in the wild. Next year will see more trips and expeditions.

I worked for 27 days straight and 74 hours a week with moose foraging after only having one day off after the South Africa trip. During these days I traveled four counties and went 5 703 kilometers by car – something that I am less proud of. In the last day of work my car held its last breath and I later sold it to a scrap dealer who shipped it to either the Middle East or Africa. I got an ethanol car to replace it which I consider one step better (hey at least I slice some rain forest down to drive my car as opposed to everybody else who put the last remnants of ancient life in their tanks risking the entire planet in the process).

I found out that I had a really bad B12 deficiency, something that left me in a dark emotional vacuum for several months until I figured to go and get a test. I was annoyed that they did not have B12 pills that were not tested on animals.

I held a couple of guided moose tours, one of which was with the sweetest group of Dutch people that I have ever met.

I took on a job of working with a forestry census only to become immensely frustrated and almost depressed by it so I quit the job after three failed attempts of starting (sorry Svensk Naturförvaltning, forestry is not for me).

I have now been on the board of Naturskyddsföreningen Värmland for two years and we are currently working with organizing a carnivore symposium that will be held in Karlstad in early 2012.

I have censused otters for a week and was interviewed by both Värmlands folkblad and Nya Wermlandstidningen.

I have studied intensively – at 300 % pace – for the last two months of the year, something that should lead up to something cool in 2012.

I have criss-crossed the country for various courses and meetings and met some really cool people during these trips.

I spent a few days snow tracking wolves in the beginning of the year and in one day Mareike planted the car on top a two meter high snow pile only for us to be helped out by two wolf hunters the day before the hunt.

I have some awesome friends and I would not even be half as alive if it was not for you ♥

Welcome

So, I’m Jonatan Borling. I work with conservation of cats and other carnivores.

In the wild in Sweden I’ve worked with Eurasian lynx, wolf, bear, otter, moose, roe deer, hare, reindeer and capercaillie.

I have done some work with snow leopards, Amur leopards, Amur tigers, Asiatic lions, pumas, cheetahs, fishing cats, wildcats, maned wolves and red pandas at zoological gardens.

I have worked with the world’s second smallest cat species, the black-footed cat in South Africa in 2011.